It occurs to me that in the Old Testament, God appeared as a rushing, mighty wind, or a cloud, or a clap of thunder–a level of majesty that I’m not sure I’d experience in my lifetime. In the New Testament, however, when Jesus walked in flesh, He taught people using the items that were most common to them–wheat, seeds, water and wine, vines and branches. Simple images for simple folks. So, could he not speak to a naturally coiled wannabe through her hair? I think so.
Every now and then, as I wait for the full fruit of my almost-2-year natural hair transition to blossom, I have to remind myself of why I made this decision. And like David, in the midst of his tribulations, I have to encourage myself. After reading this article from BGLH Online, I gathered the courage to admit a couple of things to myself:
1) I am accutely aware of my hair at all times–FAR more conscious than I ever was of my permed hair. I wonder how I’m being perceived by people who know me, not to mention people who don’t know me. I wonder if my husband finds me as attractive, especially since most days when we’re around the house, I wear my twists or my bantu knots, i.e., preparatory styles before I actually comb my hair. Similarly, I wonder about people’s reactions when they see me at the grocery store or the gas station with my prep style, always worn up under a cap.
2) I spend a significant amount of time planning my hair–what days I need to have it ready to leave the home, what days I can leave it up, what that means in terms of washing it, moisturizing it, etc. And that’s just my hair–that preoccupation doesn’t even include planning for our girls!
Having confessed those places of fear and uncertainty, however, there are some places where I am resolved. One area, you ask? I genuinely love my natural hair. I love that it has its own personality, and it’s own sense of what it wants to do on any given day (of course, my permed hair had that, too– 😉 ). I love the way it feels when it’s wet, I love the curls, even when it’s dry, and more than anything, I love the freedom. I’ve not experienced this type of “hair freedom” since about 3rd grade. Even in the earliest (pre-perm) days as a little girl, getting hair straightened meant that you couldn’t sweat in it, or get it wet in any way–not too much rough playing, and dirt and/or swimming meant that you would almost immediately be confined for hours to a chair with the associated heat to re-do your “do,” so to speak. Imagine now being able to freely walk out in a light rain and not worry about what it will do to that same “do.” I cannot wait to hit the beach this summer.
I have to remind myself that, unlike many women who simply went natural because it is in right now, I changed my hair as a smaller, but integral, portion of changing my life. This was a prayed-upon decision for me, not just some flavor-of-the-month that will be replaced with the next fad. I have to recall that I’ve spent the last 18 months of my life (pictures coming soon) educating myself, and allegedly educating or at least entertaining (ha ha) you, regarding all that this seemingly simple change has meant to me. I must remember when I’m not “there” as quickly as I want to be that…
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11: 1)
Faith–when I saw my youngest’s hair as I prepared her for her recent pageant, and enjoyed her temporary excitement at experiencing her full length. My hair was never this long–not even in its virgin state when I was her age. Yet, seeing the results of all my research and trial and error in her hair, I knew I was going the right direction. I also realized during this 2-day process that I don’t miss straightened hair one bit. I don’t miss the “ouches” as I got too close to one ear, or the smoke of oil and hair burning. And I cringed when I heard myself say things like, “You can’t do _____. We’ve got to keep your hair ready for the weekend!”
Faith–when I witness the oldest decide that her black is indeed beautiful. She turned down opportunities to have her hair flat-ironed for recent competitions as well as this year’s dance recital, and instead stuck with her twists and twist-outs. I would have loved to have that level of self-confidence at her age.
Faith–as I enjoy an occasional encounter with wind or rain, as I wait patiently for my hair to get “there” (wherever that is), and as I enjoy the weight of my hair pulling my curls down and not out, and all the other baby steps that are happening in-between.